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John Bradshaw - The Methuselah Factor


John Bradshaw - The Methuselah Factor
John Bradshaw - The Methuselah Factor
TOPICS: Lifestyle

This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me. You know, I've met a lot of people in my life, but I can't remember ever meeting one single person who has ever said, "I wish I hadn't lived as long as I have lived". Most people would like to live longer. But the fact of the matter is it's not until we get very late in life, or maybe at the end of life, that people say, "I wish I'd done things better. I wish I had another year, five years, or ten years". Now, most of us could have more years than we are going to get. I want to say that to you again. Most of us could live longer than we're going to live. To talk about that with me today, my special guest, president of CompassHealth Consulting, Dr. David DeRose. David, thanks for joining me.

Dr. David DeRose: Great to be with you, John.

John Bradshaw: I am thrilled genuinely. You've written a book called "The Methuselah Factor," and we know who Methuselah is. He's that fellow who, in the Bible, lived to be almost 1,000 years of age. So when talking about "The Methuselah Factor," clearly we're going to tell you how you can live to be 969. Right?

Dr. David DeRose: Well, John, the news is actually better than that.

John Bradshaw: How can it be better than that?

Dr. David DeRose: Here's what I'm going to tell you. It, it's really this. People are focused mainly on the number of years they live, but we're talking about quality of life. So the subtitle of the book is "How to Live Sharper, Leaner, Longer, and Better". Now, with our present bodies in the state of sin in which we find ourselves, 969 years probably would not be optimal. But we can help people live longer and better by paying attention to the medical science called hemorheology; it's the science of blood fluidity.

John Bradshaw: Okay, so, what we really want to do today is talk, talk about the book, but more than the book itself, the truth is, from a Christian perspective, we want to live forever. So today we're really going to talk about living forever, but also living better, uh, more quality lives during the time that we have on this earth. Hemorheology you said is the science of what?

Dr. David DeRose: The science of blood fluidity.

John Bradshaw: Uh, what's blood fluidity?

Dr. David DeRose: Basically, think about it this way. If order for you to have optimal health, your blood has to flow freely through your blood vessels, not just the large arteries and veins but also through the tiny blood vessels, like the capillaries. That's where exchange takes place, where the oxygen goes into your tissues, the carbon dioxide is removed, where nutrients are exchanged. So if you want optimal health, you want optimal circulation.

John Bradshaw: So, a person can do something to improve their circulation?

Dr. David DeRose: Most definitely.

John Bradshaw: Okay. Well, we must talk about some of those concrete steps because my, my thinking is, you know, you take a pill to lower your blood pressure, or you walk. You can do certain things to deal with diabetes and hardening of the arteries. But I don't know if most people have ever stopped to think, I can improve my blood fluidity. I can impact my circulation. Uh, uh, let's take the 25,000-foot view, the overview. Improve your circulation, and what sort of things can improve?

Dr. David DeRose: Well, let's take a good example. One is heart disease. If you look at conventional heart disease risk factors like cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking, and you put them side by side with markers or indicators of blood fluidity, there's strange terms, things like viscosity, fibrinogen, that's a, which is a clotting factor. But if you look at those, sometimes those are more powerful risk factors than the ones that we're measuring. For example, fibrinogen. They did a study in Europe. They looked at people with low fibrinogens. That's good. Their blood is going to be more fluid. And they compared them to people with high fibrinogens. Those with the low fibrinogens had only about 1/4 to 1/5 the risk of having a heart attack.

John Bradshaw: So does that mean in, instead of, or as well as saying, "I must eat more almonds; I must eat more celery," we might want to be saying things like, "I've got to do something about this fibrinogen or fibrinogens"?

Dr. David DeRose: Here's the practical way I look at it. I mean, you're connecting the dots perfectly, but the reality is you walk into the average doctor office, and he or she is not going to say, "Oh, yeah, we'll just do the panel with the fibrinogen, the viscosity, and the Von Willebrand's factor". These are all things that they measure and research. But what I'm saying is simple lifestyle factors, simple lifestyle habits can actually make a difference in all of these factors across the board. You don't have to be measuring them from day to day.

John Bradshaw: Somebody's watching right now, they're sitting at home, they're drinking a Coke, they're, they haven't taken a walk in forever, and they're going to eat their typical high-fat standard American diet food. And that's okay; that's your choice. And the thinking is, "I gotta die anyway. I might as well die happy, doing what I love," and, and the more pertinent question is, from a Christian perspective, why does it even matter? This, this is a Bible-teaching television program. We're talking about fibrinogens and Von Willebrand's factor and so forth. Why does that matter in the daily life of a believer?

Dr. David DeRose: Here's the way I look at it, John. God is trying to communicate with us. He's trying to guide us. He's trying to lead us. When I sit with my Bible in front of me, I want to understand what the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate. What we find out is when we improve our hemorheology, our mental functioning actually measurably improves. So if I want to have the most unobstructed pathway of communion with my Creator and my Savior, I want my blood fluidity to be optimal. I want my, as I call it, my Methuselah factor, that's the synonym I use for hemorheology, I want it to be as good as possible.

John Bradshaw: Now, you're a pastor and a physician. You've been a practicing physician for many years. Is it fair to say, in addition to the enhanced relationship with God, is it fair to say that a believer, someone who's given her or his heart to Jesus Christ, does that person really have a responsibility to take care of their body?

Dr. David DeRose: John, it's amazing to me. When you look at God articulating His plan for His people, reread the book of Deuteronomy. God gives the law, and then He says why did He give these things: "That it may be well with you"; that things would go, that people would know that you're really children of the King. And so this whole idea of responsibility, Paul speaks about our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit. These concepts come together because when I realize that God has entrusted me with something precious, this, this gift of health, when I care for my body, not only do I have that enhanced relationship, but I function better; I feel better. I can serve my Lord better. And actually I'm a better witness. People see my life, and they say, "Well, what are you doing? I mean, how come I'm ending up in the doctor's office every week, and you're not"?

John Bradshaw: There's a lot to cover here talking about the things that impact the Methuselah factor a lot. I would just go back to say I believe that this, the, the Bible speaks about us being fearfully and wonderfully made. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. I, I think it's fair to generalize and say, by and large, across Christianity, that's forgotten. It's neglected. As a matter of fact, I think it's rejected. Well, we're going to talk about how you can improve your blood fluidity. Uh, we're talking about lengthening your life and living a better life. But we're really talking about how you can live forever, and that involves blood as well. I'll be back with Dr. David DeRose in just a moment.

John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me. With me is Dr. David DeRose from CompassHealth Consulting. We are talking about "The Methuselah Factor," how you can live longer and better and ultimately how you can live forever. Now, a moment ago, we're talking about this thing called hemorheology. Explain that again for me, if you would.

Dr. David DeRose: Basically, it's the science of blood fluidity. And the more fluid the blood, the better your health.

John Bradshaw: We talk about blood pressure a lot.

Dr. David DeRose: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: Why, why has it taken me this long to hear about blood fluidity? Why is that not something spoken of more?

Dr. David DeRose: You know, it's really shocking because there are whole medical societies, there's medical journals that are devoted to nothing but hemorheology. One of them is called "Hemorheology and Microcirculation".

John Bradshaw: That sounds exciting.

Dr. David DeRose: But, but this is just not filtered into the lay dialogue.

John Bradshaw: And it really ought to be, right?

Dr. David DeRose: Oh, it really ought to be.

John Bradshaw: Because in here you write about how improved blood fluidity can impact and actually decrease your risk of cancer. How's that?

Dr. David DeRose: Well, this is one of the most shocking ones. You know, when we talk about stroke and heart attack, people say, "Oh, yeah, those are circulatory disorders". But when you throw cancer into the mix, people say, "Well, how, how could that factor in"?

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. David DeRose: There was a fascinating study some years ago where they looked at women who were dealing with gynecologic cancer, so, female cancers. The researchers measured markers of blood fluidity before they had their cancer surgery. Now, what comes as no surprise is the worse their blood fluidity, the greater their risk of having thrombosis or blood clots after the surgery.

John Bradshaw: Sure.

Dr. David DeRose: We say, "Obvious," right?

John Bradshaw: Right.

Dr. David DeRose: But what was shocking is those markers of blood fluidity also predicted survival. And when the researchers were writing about it, what they said is what's happening, this is the, their theory for why these things would be connected. They say if your blood is not really fluid, you're going to have little microclots in the blood vessels. When that happens, cancer cells that are circulating in the bloodstream can lodge in some of these areas that are now relatively isolated from the immune system, and they can set up shop; they can set up metastasis. So the cancer spreads more readily if your blood fluidity is poor.

John Bradshaw: Okay, we've come this far without really talking yet, and there's a lot to talk about. I doubt we can do this in just one program. We haven't started to talk yet about how a person can improve their blood fluidity. Um, I'm going to guess you can do it by exercising. I'm going to guess you can do it by, by eating healthily. Let's, let's discuss those, but not yet. What I want to ask you is, is there, is there one simple way a person can improve their blood fluidity that somebody like me would say, "Didn't realize that, that's a surprise"? Give me one.

Dr. David DeRose: You know, one of the biggest surprises we've seen as we've been bringing this message out into communities throughout the country is that actually blood donation may be something that could improve the blood fluidity of many Americans.

John Bradshaw: By giving blood away, by temporarily having less blood, it may improve your blood fluidity. How's that?

Dr. David DeRose: What the thinking is, is that many of us actually have higher what we call hematocrits than optimal. Now, hematocrit is a technical measurement; it's actually the percentage of your blood that is made up of red blood cells. And what we find is, talk about mental performance. As your hematocrit drops down, if you're anemic, you can have poor mental performance because you can't get oxygen to the brain. The hematocrit comes up, mental performance improves, but as it keeps rising, then mental performance drops. And so many Americans have blood that is thicker, if you will. I hate that term, but I don't know a better one to use for lay folks. Uh, if the blood is thicker, it's not flowing as well; you've got more blood cells; there's more congestion; mental performance decreases. So, donating blood actually, for many people, can be beneficial.

John Bradshaw: Well, I want to encourage you not just to think about it but to get involved in donating blood. You help a lot of people, and evidently you help yourself. So now, is there another thing? What, what's one other thing that might not seem intuitive that would help this? We're looking for a, you know, I'm saying we're looking for a simple thing. You know, the fact of the matter is, even if this was hard, people should do it because it's life-changing and live-saving. But give me another simple thing. Donating blood is good for blood fluidity. What's something else that might, might seem a little surprising?

Dr. David DeRose: Well, this one may not be as surprising, but it draws on an illustration you used a while ago. You talked about someone watching It Is Written, and they had a certain type of beverage. You mentioned a sugar-sweetened beverage.

John Bradshaw: Mm-hmm.

Dr. David DeRose: A lot of people don't realize that when we up our intake of sugar, so do our triglycerides, a type of blood fat, tend to rise. And as triglycerides go up, blood fluidity goes down. So, sugar has gotten a lot of bad raps, but it's deserved when you look at blood fluidity. Those sugar-sweetened beverages, one of the leading causes of what many people are calling an obesity epidemic in the Western world, so it's not just the body fat connection; it's also the blood fat connection when it comes to sugar-sweetened drinks.

John Bradshaw: I saw this thing where somebody, uh, covenanted to only eat healthy food, and that healthy food was an utter train wreck when it came to sugar content. There's a lot of hidden sugar. How can we recognize that hidden sugar, the easy steps to get rid of a ton of sugar out of our lives?

Dr. David DeRose: You know, I love your question because a lot of people say, "Hey, I'm just eating the organic cereals".

John Bradshaw: Right.

Dr. David DeRose: But you walk down the cereal aisle, and here's a great place to practice what we recommend in the book. We say, look at the total carbohydrate content of a food and then look at the sugar content. Divide the two. So if there's 25 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of sugar, you would divide 25 by 5; you'd come up with...?

John Bradshaw: Five.

Dr. David DeRose: Very good. Five is that magic number, if it's five or larger. In other words, that means you have less, much less sugar than carbohydrates. So in other words, if it was 24 and 3, that figure would be 8.

John Bradshaw: Right.

Dr. David DeRose: So five or greater, that means you've got a lot more complex carbohydrate than simple sugars. That is a reasonable choice.

John Bradshaw: So you want it to be a big number? A bigger number?

Dr. David DeRose: A bigger number. So that means a lot of complex carbohydrates relative to small amounts of simple sugar.

John Bradshaw: We've got about a minute. Uh, uh, in this minute, talk to me just very quickly, because in the book there's a, a really a very simple 30-day program that someone can say, okay, I'm going to dive into this, make some changes, and so on. Let's get started on that. We'll tease it just a little bit. What's a simple change somebody can make? We talked about cutting that sugar out. Uh, where do you recommend a person begin when they want to improve their blood fluidity?

Dr. David DeRose: Basically, you're exactly right. The book contains a 30-day program. And the place I recommend people begin is on day 1 of the program. Each of the last 30 chapters is one day in our 30-day program.

John Bradshaw: Now, this one surprised me just a little bit. I'd, I'd heard it before in certain circles, but a little bit surprising. You've a, a, a chapter called "Beans, Beans, Beans". Beans help blood. How?

Dr. David DeRose: Beans are amazing. Years ago, when I was interested in diabetes treatment, I ran across a medical research article talking about how the fiber in beans, as the researchers put it, improves all aspects of diabetic control. When you improve blood sugar dynamics in the body, just like we were talking about triglycerides, you improve blood fluidity. But beans are more than that; they've got all kinds of phytochemicals that also help your blood flow better.

John Bradshaw: And a lot of people never eat beans. Just don't eat them, unless they get them out of the can, and they're sweetened with sugar and seasoned with bacon. Where can people implement beans into their diet?

Dr. David DeRose: Basically, get beans; cook them. It doesn't matter whether they're lentils or peas, garbanzo beans or black-eyed peas, kidney beans. Just pick up a simple recipe book. Just cook them in a crockpot, the simplest thing in the world to do. It's great stuff.

John Bradshaw: And that's what I like about "The Methuselah Factor". It'll revolutionize your life. It'll impact you powerfully and positively. You'll live better. The better news yet is that you may live forever. We'll talk about that in a moment. I'll be back with more from Dr. David DeRose straight ahead.

John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written. Dr. David DeRose is the president of CompassHealth Consulting, and he's written a remarkable book. It is called "The Methuselah Factor". Methuselah in the Bible lived to be 969, and while I'm sure Dr. DeRose is not promising you that you can live to be 969, the book does tell you how you can learn how to live sharper, leaner, longer, and better in 30 days or-- in 30 days or less. Hey, I want to ask you about that, and I know you're an honest fellow, and we go back quite some time... but you're, you're, well, you're stating very upfront that in 30 days or less, people are going to see marked change. Is that really fair to say that?

Dr. David DeRose: It is; I mean, typically we see dramatic changes in short times when people make serious lifestyle changes. We give them a 30-day program. They're making changes each day and sticking with them. I think of a patient I had years ago, actually changed my perspective, came to one of these residential lifestyle change programs, where actually I was getting some training during my medical school years. The guy could not walk across the small parking lot of the health center. A few weeks later, he was walking seven or eight miles on the trails. No question, this guy's blood fluidity had dramatically improved.

John Bradshaw: You're a pastor. I'm a pastor. We don't want to see just healthy sinners, right? Uh, as good as that would be. We would hope that a person embarks on a journey that leads them to faith in God or increases faith in God. And what I'm intrigued by here is that in the 30-day program, day 7 is called Rest and Refresh, day 14: Seek Spirituality. And there are other, uh, similar aspects to this. So in order to improve my blood fluidity, in order to have a, to dramatically improve my health, rest? Seek spirituality? Explain that for me.

Dr. David DeRose: This is amazing stuff, John. You know, a lot of people think, hey, we know where the year comes from, right? And that's the earth going around the sun. We know the day is based on the earth spinning on its axis. And people say we understand the month. Its origins come from lunar cycles. But most people don't realize that built into our physiology is a seven-day rhythm. We share some of the research on circaseptan rhythms; that's what they're called. And what we encourage people to do is to tap into those rhythms to optimize how they deal with stress, how they look at life, and how they implement lifestyle change. It is not just coincidence that the Bible and just about every other society in the world today keeps a seven-day cycle. Why is that? We need a day to step apart from the normal wear and tear, from the normal stresses, and really to refocus and refresh.

John Bradshaw: What I'm fascinated by... you look into the Bible; you get a chapter in, and God says, "Here's a day for rest".

Dr. David DeRose: Mm-hmm.

John Bradshaw: I think it's fair to say that if you look across society, that that, that idea of a day of rest is disappearing. And if you look across Christianity, it's disappearing, too. You go back in essentially any church in the land, back in Grandma's day or Great-grandma's day, uh, people respected and observed that idea of a day of rest. We're losing that, aren't we?

Dr. David DeRose: We are, and one of the things I draw out in the book, actually, is an observation that neuroscientists are making, and it's simply this: That we tend to fall into the trap of prioritizing urgent things that are not as important as the real key things in life that are of such value, that we let those slip. And what this whole idea of a day of rest is kind of a time to reset and to say, "Where are my priorities"? We say during this 30-day program, I say to my reader: I want you taking a day off and say, "Where have I gone in the last week? Where have I gone in the last two weeks? And am I on the trajectory I want to continue for the rest of my life"?

John Bradshaw: One thing of a practical nature in the book here, and I notice this: improve your Methuselah factor; improve your bone and joint health. Now, I have a brother who was, was putting on far more weight than he needed and couldn't exercise because his knees were shot, and he had to get a bilateral knee replacement, and then he could start working. Uh, so you can easily get caught in this downward spiral. I like the idea of looking after your joints so that... well, so that what?

Dr. David DeRose: Well, actually, there is evidence that you can regenerate cartilage. It may not be as good as the cartilage the Creator gave you to begin with. We have a great story in there from an orthopedic surgeon who actually saw this in someone who got on a program to improve their blood fluidity. Here is the point, John. Our joints need optimal circulation. They're often not getting it. Well-, well-documented the importance between improving blood fluidity and having really healthy joints.

John Bradshaw: So we live a little longer in this world, and I don't want to say that as though I don't care. I think if you can get another week, you're doing well. Another year, you're doing well. The average American lives almost 79 years, which isn't terribly long. But I know that, that as a believer, as a pastor, as a physician, your hope is that a person can live forever. And that has something to do with blood as well, but not my blood or yours.

Dr. David DeRose: No, no, it's an amazing connection. Just like we talked about the benefits that come to us when we donate blood. We think of that amazing greatest gift of blood and our Savior giving His life for us. And really, that's the ultimate connection that not only transforms my value for me personally, why I want to take care of my health, but gives me that hope of eternity.

John Bradshaw: The, the story of the cross is the greatest story that was ever told, and, and just as there are simple things we can do to take care of our physical health, there are simple things that we can do to live forever. And one of the simplest things, I think, and one of the most commonsense things is when you consider the story found in, in this book, the Holy Bible, the story of a God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, the story of a Savior who died on a cross, belief is a pretty simple thing.

Dr. David DeRose: It's simple conceptually, but our culture today, we're so accustomed to doubt. We just have to take God at His word.

John Bradshaw: Believe if you, if you take God at His word, you will see God move in your life, bless and benefit your life miraculously. Dr. DeRose, I am grateful that you've taken time to talk about "The Methuselah Factor". It seems to me to be a very accessible way for somebody to improve their life in this world. If they follow the 30-day program, it won't be in this world, but also in the world to come.
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